Permanent Partial Disability in North Carolina

person who was injured at work getting into a bus on a wheelchair

Permanent partial disability describes a permanent injury that results in less than a 100 percent loss of function of the affected body part and is expected to last the rest of your life. A permanent partial disability does not necessarily prevent you from returning to your previous job or seeking employment elsewhere. Still, it can affect the kind of work you can do and, consequently, your income.

Contact Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, immediately if you have a job-related injury or illness. You might be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits from the workers’ compensation system.

At Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, we know what qualifies as a permanent partial disability and how to investigate and obtain evidence that shows you are entitled to benefits. You should not suffer the financial consequences of a workplace injury.

Contact us online today for a free consultation with one of our experienced North Carolina permanent partial disability attorneys. We look forward to meeting you, hearing your story, and finding out how we can help.

What Are Permanent Partial Disability Benefits from Workers’ Compensation?

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires nearly every business with three or more employees to provide workers’ compensation benefits to any employee who gets sick or injured on the job. Permanent partial disability (PPD) is a benefit available through an employer’s workers’ comp insurance.

PPD payments begin once a sick or injured employee reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI). A doctor determines that a patient has reached MMI when they have recovered as much as possible and that further treatment isn’t likely to improve their condition. In other words, a patient has healed as much as they are likely to, and any lingering impairment is expected to be permanent. At this point, the doctor assigns a disability rating to the affected body part between 0 and 100 percent based on how much function it has lost.

The dollar value of your benefit payments will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage before the work-related injury or ailment – up to a statutory limit. The duration of these payments depends on your disability rating and what part of your body is affected, according to the schedule established by North Carolina state law.

For example, suppose you made $500 per week before injuring your hand, a body part scheduled by the state at 200 weeks. Your doctor determines you have reached MMI and that your hand has a disability rating of 50 percent. In this case, you would be entitled to $33,350 in total PPD benefits – that is, two-thirds of $500 multiplied by 50 percent multiplied by 200 weeks.

Do I Qualify for Permanent Partial Disability Workers’ Comp Benefits?

You must have a medical condition that resulted from your work-related duties to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. You qualify for permanent partial disability benefits once your medical provider places you at maximum medical improvement and assesses you with a disability rating.

North Carolina schedules the following body parts:

  • Toe
  • Hand
  • Hearing
  • Feet
  • Back
  • Vision
  • Finger
  • Arm

Certain conditions are given a lump-sum figure, including:

  • Serious disfigurement to the face or head
  • Vital external or internal organ
  • Serious disfigurement to another body part not covered by the schedule

How Long Can You Receive Permanent Partial Disability in NC?

The number of weeks you receive permanent partial disability benefits depends on what part of your body was injured, how it is listed in the schedule of injuries, and the disability rating your doctor provides. 

For example, let’s say you injured your hand at work. According to the schedule of injuries, a hand is assessed for a compensation period of 200 weeks. Your doctor examines your hand and assigns it a disability rating of 50 percent. In that case, you could receive PPD benefits for 100 weeks.

How Can an Attorney Help Me with My Workers’ Comp Disability Claim?

You should let a North Carolina permanent partial disability lawyer from Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, handle your claim. We have been representing injured and sick workers for over 40 years and want to help you get the benefits you’re entitled to. We can do this by:

  • Providing guidance – You might not understand your rights after a workplace accident. We can advise whether you qualify for workers’ comp benefits and guide you through the confusing claims process.
  • Obtaining evidence – You don’t have to worry about looking through paperwork or calling your doctors for copies of your medical records. We can gather all available evidence and submit your claim for permanent partial disability benefits.
  • Negotiating a settlement – Once we’ve obtained the necessary evidence to support your case, we can negotiate a settlement with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. This settlement can be paid out in a lump sum or weekly installments.
  • Representing you at hearings – If your employer’s insurance company denies your claim, we can request a hearing before the NC Industrial Commission. We will represent you during the appeals process and determine how to prove you deserve workers’ compensation benefits.

We will remain by your side from start to finish of your case. You can count on us to be your advocate during this challenging time in your life and fight for the maximum benefits you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer in North Carolina Today

For decades, the attorneys at Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, have fought for our client’s rights in workers’ compensation cases. We understand what is at stake after an illness or injury compromises your ability to earn your regular income and want to help you get the financial support you’re entitled to.

We have a reputation for providing injured workers with quality representation and client service. Our hard work and positive case results earned us multiple awards from prestigious organizations. We also have an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest distinction given to the top attorneys in the country.

If you sustained a job-related injury, contact Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, today for a free consultation with one of our North Carolina permanent partial disability attorneys.